The Astros are sorry for promoting a luncheon featuring the late Joe Niekro

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Look, I understand it was a mistake, and I understand why the Astros are apologizing. All I’m saying is that a lunch with the late Joe Niekro would be really, really cool:

The Astros have apologized for a post on the team’s Facebook page that said Astros career pitching victories leader Joe Niekro, who died in 2006, would attend the Astros’ Legends Weekend luncheon next weekend.

According to a screen grab of the page archived at Deadspin.com, the team on Saturday noted the Sept. 15, 1985 anniversary of Niekro’s trade from the Astros to the Yankees for three players, including pitcher Jim Deshaies and Jose Cruz’s 2,000th career hit.

Having lunch with Jim Deshaies is still OK. I guess.

Report: Nathan Eovaldi drawing interest from at least nine teams

Nathan Eovaldi
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Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.

Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.

A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.